The Buzz

No charges against SC senator accused of relationship with student

State Sen. Mike Fanning will not be charged after a five-month investigation into claims he had an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old female student in the early 1990s.

The State Law Enforcement Division last month closed its investigation, finding insufficient evidence to charge state the Fairfield Democrat with any crime.

The allegation was filed last September in the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office, more than a month before Fanning’s general election victory over York Republican Mark Palmer

The two-paragraph incident report alleged Fanning had an “inappropriate relationship” with a female student at Estill High School while he was a Hampton County teacher in 1993. It did not name the student, nor did it offer any further details.

The case was closed as “unfounded” after a March 13 email in which 14th Circuit Deputy Solicitor cited insufficient evidence and noted that prior to 2010, South Carolina had no law governing student-teacher relationships.

Efforts to reach Fanning early Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Avery G. Wilks: 803-771-8362, @averygwilks

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